Battleship director says he's finally figured out why it was a massive flop

Contributed by
Aug 19, 2013

Though some other flicks might’ve took the spotlight (we’re looking at you, John Carter), the recent alien-invasion action pic Battleship was one of the biggest flops in recent box-office history. Why? Well, director Peter Berg thinks he’s finally figured it out.

Berg got his start making small films, including the critically acclaimed 2004 small-town football flick Friday Night Lights, and burst into blockbuster status in 2008 with the mediocre Will Smith vehicle Hancock. Despite the fact that it was terrible, the Will Smith factor carried that one to a hefty box-office haul, making Berg a “proven” commodity for big-budget action.

But when it came to Battleship, there was apparently a little something he forgot about: star power. Hancock succeeded largely because of Will Smith. Sadly, it turned out Taylor Kitsch just doesn’t have that kind of draw.

Here’s how he explained it to The New York Times:

“I got a taste of a film’s global power [with Hancock]. But I discounted the effect of Will Smith on Hancock’s success. I thought I could pull off ‘Battleship’ without a big star ... I don’t want to tackle that kind of economic project for quite a while.”

The main reason the cast didn’t feature any major names? They apparently couldn’t afford any, at least not after about $100 million of the film’s $200 million budget went toward effects work for those wacky aliens and peg-style missiles.

If anything, it just goes to show that moviegoing audiences are willing to suspend their disbelief — so long as there’s a bankable star up front to save the world.

What do you think? Is this why Battleship failed, or is there another reason?

(Via The New York Times)

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